Woke up early again and went for a walk. Watched a large hawk of some kind flying over the Danube, and lots of cute little black and white swallows (which I later learned were “house swifts.” Enjoyed another of our typical, egg-and-cheese intensive breakfasts and insufficient caffeine. Then we started our journey.
It was a very hot day, close to 100 degrees F, mostly through fields of corn and sunflowers. At least it was flat, but we were sweating like pigs. We stopped for a picnic lunch at a sort of rest stop/bar. We brought our own food but ordered drinks from the bar. This is where we saw our first gypsy, a very drunk man with a horse and cart. He was trying to buy us beer and flirt. Funny–if he’d been sober he’d have seen we were just a bunch of middle-aged, sweaty women in unflattering bike shorts (except for our niece Annie, of course, who always looked cute).
Annie decided to ride the rest of the way in the van; it was her first full-on day of riding and it was pretty intense. The rest of us made it the entire 60 km (about 37 miles), a decent day’s ride given the heat. We stayed at a nice, small hotel on an inlet. Annie and Marion went swimming with the lily pads and frogs (eww!). We watched birds and drank beer and tried to recover. Had a nice dinner of fried catfish and a kind of beef sausage that’s common in Serbia and I’m quite fond of it. It tastes a little bit like breakfast pork sausage–the seasoning, I guess. Baklava for dessert.
We had a charming encounter with this little boy. Marion let him look through her binoculars, and he’d obviously never seen such a thing before. He kept trying to reach out and touch what he could see through the lenses. But when he attempted to converse with her (or any of us) and we failed to understand, he became quite irritated with us and started yelling. I think he thought we were quite stupid.